S/V Delilah

A Blog to track the wanderings of the S/V Delilah, a 37-foot Tayana sailboat.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Gad Zouks!

Monday, 1 May 2006
Simpson Bay Lagoon, Sint Maarten, Netherlands Antilles
N 18 degrees 02.504 minutes
W 063 degrees 05.671 minutes

We decided to move to the lagoon on the Dutch side today. As it is a lagoon, boats must enter through a bascule bridge that opens three times a day. We had to clear out of the French side first, so we planned on making the midday opening.

We dinghied into town early for our usual breakfast of pains au chocolate and coffee (to which we decided to add croissants). After breakfast, we strolled over to customs and immigration to check out. Uhhh. The office didn't open until 9:30 AM, leaving us with not enough time to make it the 9 miles or so before the bridge opened. Hhhhmmmm. We decided to go with the flow, so we walked up to the fort overlooking Marigot Bay. It was quite lovely, but left us both a little tired, as it was already unbearably hot. In time we cleared out and were on our way.

We anchored in Simpson Bay, motored in, did our customs and immigration paperwork, went to Shrimpy's for a little wi-fi action, and then to the beach near our new anchorage. The beach in Simpson Bay is not nearly as nice as the beach near Marigot Bay. And there are weeds, for which Jill doesn't care much. We lazed about until just before 5:30 PM, the next and last bridge opening.

Suddenly, what had been a quiet anchorage started to look like the starting line of the America's Cup, as boats appeared from nowhere to begin jockeying for position for when the bridge opened. What was the rush? I don't know, but Delilah wound up near the back of the line. When the bridge opened, the boats leaving the lagoon had to come out first, and so every boat in line to get INTO the lagoon had to scramble out of the way, and then scramble back again to get through the bridge all at once. After all that we were last in line.

Tonight is one of the final nights of a string of holidays on the island, and spring carnival in St. Maarten. We met up with friends on m/v Dreamweaver to take a bus over to the capital for the "zouk," the big finale of bands and dancing that took place in a large field surrounded by booths selling barbecue and drinks. The zouk started at nine and is supposed to end at four in the morning. We made it until midnight.

We could pretend that the highlight of the evening was actually the music. It might have been, had we not stopped by one booth that had a TV in the corner...PLAYING THE RED SOX VS. THE YANKEES IN FENWAY PARK! We sat down just in time to see a brilliant Sox double play. Then the pitcher hit Youk, and a few minutes later Ortiz homered and brought in three runs to put the Sox up 7-3. That made seeing Damon in a Yankees uniform almost bearable. We gave a big whoop when Ortiz's ball made it over the fence, only to be met by glares of the other patrons, who were all Yankees fans.

When the camera panned the crowd I was surprised to realize that everybody in Fenway was still bundled up against the cold. We, on the other hand, had just been discussing how comfortable it had finally become now that the hot sun was down. I'm not quite sure how we will cope in Trinidad this summer if we are not in a clean anchorage where we can swim off the boat. We sweat so much that dehydration is something we have to guard against carefully. We just can't seem to keep enough cold water in the fridge. Imagine if we come home actually looking forward to cooler weather. It will be a first.


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